RTK is simply a community of people, who have been affected in some way by knife crime, including:
- those experiencing loss due to the death or injury of someone they know, including through recent events as well those that happened many years ago
- parents and those working with children or young people who want to positively support and educate the younger generation
- those with an awareness that knife crime has a serious impact on society, especially on young people
There is a shared understanding that we need to support one another to listen, comfort, encourage and look for positive solutions. We meet monthly to give space to remember those who have lost their lives to knife crime, to share ideas for positive change and to connect with others affected by violent youth crime. We are open to people of all ages, faiths and outlooks.
We began by meeting in a church hall, but at present meet via Zoom calls. It is a local initiative, based in the borough of Wandsworth, but open to anyone further away who would like to join us.
Val and Rosie are the facilitators of RTK.
Val works in early years education in Wandsworth. Since one of her close friends lost her son to knife crime in 2006, she has supported and campaigned for victims and their families. She has implemented an anti-knife crime programme within her local primary school and is a member of the local Wandsworth Knife Crime Forum.
Rosie was inspired by Val’s passion and stories, and by her own experience of supporting those affected by bereavement in previous roles in nursing and pastoring a church. She works as a spiritual director and as a volunteer in projects supporting young people.
A talk in June 2019 by Dr Erinma Bell, about how the work of her charity, CARISMA, in Manchester had contributed to a reduction in gun crime, led to a conversation between Rosie and Val that began the first steps to draw together a community of people, now known as RTK. Our hope is to follow Manchester’s example to see a reduction in crime through bringing together people who are looking for change.